Connecticut’s Preference: Gun Control and Armed Guards

A class photograph at a memorial service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown High School in Connecticut on Dec. 16, 2012.

Photograph by Olivier Douliery-Pool

A class photograph at a memorial service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown High School in Connecticut on Dec. 16, 2012.

The state that last year passed one of the strongest gun control laws in the country also favors by a narrow margin stationing armed guards in schools with 49 percent in favor of the idea compared with 44 percent against it, according to a poll of Connecticut residents released today by Quinnipiac University.

Connecticut became the focus of the nation’s gun control debate when 20 children and six educators were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Months later the state’s legislature moved to ban sales of semiautomatic rifles like the one used in the massacre and require background checks on all firearms transactions.

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobby, responded to the school shooting with a call to provide weapons to those guarding the country’s schools.

“If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,” NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press in Dec. 2012. “It’s the one thing that would keep people safe and the NRA is going try to do that.”

Quinnipiac University hadn’t previously asked about armed guards in Connecticut schools, according to it’s website.

Republican respondents in the state were more likely to support the idea with 59 percent approving of armed guards. Forty-three percent of Democrats want armed guards.

Fifty-four percent of those with children with children in public schools support the idea, as did 59 percent of gun owners.

The survey of 1,668 registered voters was conducted from May 1 to May 6. The margin of error is plus  or minus 2.4 percentage points.

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